Disclaimer: I own nothing.
Pure fluff rated T just to be safe – reviews and constructive criticism would be very much appreciated. Thank you for reading :)
It was with a cautiously good mood that Yashiro stepped in to Ray of Sunshine cafe first thing in the morning. He had felt the beginnings of a cold creeping up on him the previous day, and so far his pre-emptive strike of light medicine and an early night seemed to have worked. He remained watchful, but optimistic.
He was due to meet Ren in an hour, and so selected one of the more secluded tables near the back of the little cafe. Usually he wouldn't have arrived with so much spare time but his early night had caused him to wake up long before his alarm went off. Unable to go back to sleep despite a valiant effort, he'd decided to leave early and do a bit of work in the extra time.
He took out his organiser and phone, pausing when he saw he had a missed call and a voicemail from Ren left at 8.48pm the previous night. Slipping on the required glove for safely handling the device for any length of time, he hoped it hadn't been anything urgent and went through the various options to get to the voicemail.
A beep signalled the beginning of the message, but instead of the clear dialogue he was expecting Yashiro was met with a menagerie of strange scuffling noises over a background of rumbling static. If a tumble-dryer ever made a prank call he imagined this is what it would sound like. He frowned and pulled the device from his ear to stare at it a moment before adjusting the volume higher and replacing it. He could vaguely discern voices mingled in with the other sounds, but whether they were animal, vegetable or mineral was anybody's guess.
After a few seconds he came to the conclusion he had been left a voicemail by Ren's pocket. He had received similar calls where someone had rung him without realising, but his client was usually far too self-aware to do such a thing.
The recording crackled and then cleared up a bit just as he was about to hang up.
"Now, just relax. Breathe in, hold it... and breathe out. There, is that better?"
Ren's voice suddenly sounded over the muffled line, scratchy but audible. His voice was soft, a soothing murmur that held just a hint of anxiety. From only one sentence he was fairly sure who Ren was talking to and it made him smirk.
"Y-yes, much better."
Kyoko's tiny voice confirmed his suspicions and his smirk widened.
"I'm so sorry, Tsuruga-san, I'm just so nervous. I've never done this before."
He cocked his head as he listened, wondering what new facet of acting they were going over this time.
"It's okay, everyone gets nervous their first time. But there's really nothing to worry about. I'll be right here with you and I promise I'll look after you."
Yashiro froze and felt his cheeks grow warm at Ren's gentle reassurance. It almost sounded like... nah. He chuckled and shook his head. If it were any other two people in the world he would have hung up before you could say 'voyeur' but this was Ren and Kyoko. It just wasn't possible.
"I know, and I trust you, it's just..."
It just wasn't possible... was it? Even if it was possible, Ren wouldn't make a mistake like accidentally dialling his phone right in the middle... would he?
Yashiro clutched his phone against his ear, vaguely aware that his current expression was earning him nervous glances from the other patrons.
"Isn't it too big? It won't fit, I'm sure it won't fit."
"Bloody hell!" he cried, shooting out of his seat and startling a passing waitress.
"Not at all, it'll fit just fine. I've got it in much tighter places before without any trouble."
Yashiro felt numb – possibly because every drop of blood in his system had suddenly rushed to his face. Surely that wasn't something to boast about in such a situation?
"Really? You're so experienced, I feel embarrassed."
He sank back in to seat, absently waving away the terrified waitress who had approached to ask if he was in need of breakfast or possibly a some sort of analyst.
"Not at all, this is my first time too."
"Liar!" he shrieked in tandem with Kyoko.
"Well, okay, I've probably done it as many times as anyone, but this is the first time I've done it from this position or acted as an instructor to someone else. Honestly, I never do it this way if I can avoid it, I prefer to just drive it straight in without any fuss, but you should still learn this method just in case."
"You beast!" he squawked, taking the phone away from his ear to give it an appropriate glare. He was seriously going to disown the man!
"Y-yes, Tsuruga-san. But are you sure I'm ready? I still don't know... What if I crunch the sides on the way in?"
Yashiro choked on thin air. Was... was that even possible?
"You won't, I'm sure, and if it looks like you might I'll say something. We've gone over the basics so you know how to handle 'my favourite toy'. Just take it very, very slowly and remember to be very, very gentle with everything you touch and you'll be fine."
Despite himself Yashiro rolled his eyes. He knew it wasn't unusual to give it a pet name but that was ridiculous.
"You can do it, Mogami-san. We're just going to do it for real this time, with something physically there. We've already practiced so much and you did it so well in the end that I'm sure even someone as inexperienced as Yashiro would have complimented you."
His jaw dropped in utter mortification. "Inexperienced? This from a clueless love-idiot! Well excuse me for not being a sexual deviant!" he seethed, perhaps a little louder than he meant to.
He barely noticed as a mother gaped at him a second, then yanked her child protectively into her arms and fled the cafe.
"O-okay, I'm ready. Here we go!"
"Oh my god..." he said as he fell forward on to the table and in to despair.
"Good, yes, that's it. Slowly, ease it in just like that, keep going... just a little more... almost there, and... it's in!"
Yashiro flinched and squeezed his eyes tighter shut with every word. It was horrific; Ren was being so... clinical.
"I did it? Yes! I did it!"
She sounded ecstatic. Yashiro wanted to crawl away somewhere and cry. He'd never be able to look either of them in the eye again. He felt betrayed and disillusioned, not to mention faintly ill.
"Well done, Mogami-san. That was the best reverse parking I've ever seen."
He blinked. "Eh?"
"It seems so much bigger now I'm in it."
Her voice held a trace of awe and Ren's following laughter sounded profoundly relieved. Yashiro felt dizzy.
"Parking spaces are like that. And you didn't even come close to scratching 'my favourite toy'."
Yashiro gasped, feeling the pressure of his eyes bulging from their sockets. Could it be that Ren's 'favourite toy' was actually...
"No, thank heavens, I can't even begin to imagine what a new paint job would cost for a Porsche. I'm not sure I even want to BEEP"
"So they didn't..?" he questioned the cosmos in general as the message cut off. "It wasn't... oh thank god!" he let out a peal of hysterical laughter that drew the attention of the three waitresses that had gathered to stare at him at some point. He was sure they would have asked him to leave right then if someone else had not sat down at his table.
"Good morning, Yashiro-san. I wasn't expecting you to be here yet."
It took him a moment to register that the voice of Tsuruga Ren was not coming from his phone. He managed to force his eyes to do something useful and felt a surge of anger when that pleasant little smile came in to focus. How dare he look so cheerful after scaring him like that.
"Are you alright? Your face is red – are you coming down with something?"
"Well of course my face is red!" he said furiously, causing Ren to swap his concern for mildly alarmed confusion. "And if you had any decency your face would be redder than a... a... a really, really red... thing." He was far too muddled to be witty.
Ren set down the coffee he was holding and regarded him for long moment. "Have I done something to upset you?"
"No, thankfully you didn't, but I really wish you'd made that clear from the start."
"I'm sorry, I don't understand."
Ren's look of genuine concern helped him calm down and triggered a twinge of guilt. "Sorry, I just went through a very shocking experience. You called me last night and left a message."
"I did?" he asked before sipping at his coffee.
"Yes. You were with Kyoko-chan at the time, giving her an erotic driving lesson."
Ren spat his coffee back in to the cup. "Excuse me?"
Without a word he selected to replay the message and held his phone out to Ren. He had to admire the actor, his expression remained entirely neutral as he listened. Yashiro might have actually have believed him to be unaffected accept for his slowly blossoming complexion and the occasional awkward throat-clearing. By the time he hung up and silently handed the phone back there was little difference between his face and the stop light outside in terms of hue and radiance.
"I see nothing extraordinary. It sounds like a perfectly innocent depiction of me guiding Mogami-san through bay parking between two trees in an empty car park. Anyone who thinks anything more of it than that surely has an overactive imagination." His expression was placid, almost bored, but his pitch was erratic. He started out a bit high, then plunged far too deep as he tried to correct and over-compensated. By the second sentence he managed to level out to a slightly croaky version of his normal timbre.
Yashiro shot him a stony look. "You do know you're blushing, right? A lot."
He had hoped for something more than an eye twitch, but it was enough to spur him on to further teasing. "And by the way, I never knew you had a pet name for your car."
"I don't – I was quoting Mogami-san. I might have mentioned how much the car means to me a few times before letting her behind the wheel." Ren said dryly.
"So how did it go? Was she a natural?"
Another eye twitch. Then he turned distant for a moment, reminding Yashiro of a battle-worn soldier he'd seen once in a war film.
"She was... enthusiastic in every direction except backwards. Her reversing was so stop-start I nearly developed a stutter."
"Don't do that, it will affect your career." Yashiro said sternly.
Rebellion briefly flared on his client's face before settling in to something scary and charming. "The whole thing was entirely your fault, you know."
Yashiro grimaced as he found himself on the wrong end of a gentlemanly smile. "How so?"
"You told Mogami-san that one of your greatest regrets was never learning to drive and that she should learn just in case even if she never plans on owning a car. You also told her I would be happy to instruct her on the basics off-road in preparation for when she turns 18 and can have proper lessons. You said it would cost less if she had a head start and didn't need as many to be ready for the test. And you happened to mention that my last interview yesterday had been cancelled so I would be finishing early that day."
"Oh yes, I did now I come to think of it." Yashiro said, not apologetic in the least. "All I had in mind was you letting her drive round an empty parking lot for a bit. It was more the idea of you both being alone in an enclosed space together, the radio playing softly in the background. As the instructor you'd probably have to lean in a lot... maybe guide her limbs in to the right positions... I thought it'd be romantic. It's not my fault you decided to get all advanced and actually teach her how to drive."
"Teaching someone to drive, in your car, is not romantic." Ren said in a tone that did not invite discussion. "It's terrifying." he added quietly.
"Did she cook you dinner afterwards?"
"Yes." he replied in a vaguely suspicious tone.
"Then wasn't the whole thing worth it?"
Ren chose to avert his eyes to and take a stiff sip of coffee rather than reply. Yashiro grinned. He would have pushed for further details of the dinner, but a waitress arrived to take his order. Apparently he had not caused a disturbance for long enough now to be considered a customer and not a menace to society.
He settled back in his seat and picked up his organiser while he waited for his breakfast. He tried not to chuckle as he watched his client stare at something out the window with ever-increasing intensity as the silence stretched.
"Yashiro-san?" he finally said, turning back to face his manager.
"About that voicemail..."
"Yes?" he said again, this time smirking and drawing out the word.
"It's true that only someone with a wild imagination and maybe even closet perversions would ever take it as anything other than innocent, but perhaps you're right not to take any chances."
"That is, well, you are going to delete it, aren't you?"
Yashiro savoured the feeling of superiority that came with a fidgety and pensive Ren. It was a rare and profound sight to behold.
"Am I indeed?" he drawled, and Ren wilted as he allowed his face to stretch slowly in to a particularly loaded grin. In truth he had already deleted the voicemail shortly after Ren had listened to it – there were boundaries, and no possible good could come from anyone else ever hearing the message. However, he saw no need to tell Ren. At least not for quite some time yet.